Every iconic brand started out as a commodity and later became the household name associated with that category. One thing is for sure, these brands did not just acquire rockstar status overnight.

The recipe for creating a world-class brand has been out for a long time. We know it is equal parts being relevant, on-trend, inspiring, innovative and purposeful – all these carefully planned and prepared according to the liking of the end consumer. We also know that people like brands that stand for something, have high quality standards, and whose products and services give meaning and significance to their life.

So if these are no longer a secret, why do so many companies still fail at branding? Let’s take a look at some of the reasons.

  1. Misaligned goals

“Too much of marketing is focused on new customer acquisition,” says Edward Crossin, award-winning digital marketing specialist in Australia.

“Quick to deliver and easy to achieve, new customer acquisition is like instant coffee. Instant gratification is generated with the short term outcome of achieving this month’s sales target, appeasing your boss, or delivering short lived shareholder happiness.”

Also according to Crossin, customer retention should take a higher priority over customer acquisition. Make no mistake, expanding your customer base is important to the growth of your business. However, focusing too much on the pursuit of new business rather than on nurturing relationships with existing customers is not a sustainable approach to building a brand. New customers don’t automatically become brand ambassadors – you have to woo them with quality products and please them through excellent customer service in order to earn their trust.

  1. Using a cookie-cutter approach

Some businesses tend to stick to a branding strategy that they know works for their target audience. They think they have found the key to keeping their customers loyal.

But if truth be told, the success of a branding strategy is relative to the maturity of a brand. In other words, what might work now may lose its appeal later. At the end of the day, it all boils down to the experience you create for your audience. At some point, your customers will get tired of the same branding antics and will look for surprises and variety.

The industry changes, and so do your customers’ tastes and preferences. Winning your customers over should be a constant goal. So get your creative juices flowing and continue to surprise your audience. Anticipate their changing needs so you’re always on the front end.

  1. Not having a defined brand identity

Consistency is the foundation of a strong brand, Crossin said. No matter what you do and which platforms you choose, you have to be consistent with your efforts in order to create a unique brand that your audience can relate to.

Doing a little bit of everything, without exact efforts at defining and managing a brand, will invariably result to a huge waste of promotional dollars and minimal market presence. If you don’t send out a clear message, your target audience will try to find common or consistent elements to your brand’s market presence – and these elements are what will become your brand.

As such, the image tied to your company will not likely be the same image you seek to establish, giving you less control over your brand. The good news is that this can be easily avoided.  Take charge over your consumer engagement strategy to ensure a consistent branding campaign. Also, and take advantage of the available communications channels to amplify your message. There are plenty of useful tools out there that you can use.

“The communication and engagement tools for brands are plentiful,” says Crossin. “We are living in an unprecedented time of branding opportunity through the digital world. If tools like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube communicate a brand with authenticity and positively connect and engage, the future for marketing is exciting.”

Above all else, a brand is the most valuable asset a company could ever have. It is practically the only resource that – when managed properly – does not lose its value or depreciate over time. The future of your brand lies in your hand.